Feb. 16, 2013
MIDLAND, Mich. - The Grand Valley State women's basketball team trailed by as many as 12 in the second half, but came back to avenge an earlier loss to Northwood by taking the victory, 60-57, inside the Bennett Center on Saturday (Feb. 16) evening.
The victory moves the Lakers to 17-6 overall and 13-6 in the GLIAC, while Northwood falls to 10-13 overall with a 9-10 mark in the conference.
GVSU started the game off on fire, going 3-for-4 to open the game and jump out to an 8-2 lead. The largest lead of the game for the Lakers came when senior Alex Stelfox (Bowie, Md.) put GVSU up 14-7 at the 12:38 mark of the opening stanza with a layup.
Northwood battled back to within two, but the Lakers extended the lead back out to seven after an old-fashioned three point play by senior Briauna Taylor (Livonia, Mich.) made it a 23-16 Laker lead with 8:56 to play in the first half.
Seven straight points by the Timberwolves tied the game at 23, and the two teams exchanged the lead three times over the final five minutes of the half, resulting in a Northwood three point lead going in to the locker room, 32-29.
Coming out of the break, Northwood scored the first five points of the second half to extend the lead out to eight at 37-29.
The lead would eventually reach 12 after a three-pointer from Rachel Church put the Timberwolves up 50-38 with exactly nine minutes to play.
GVSU would extinguish that lead very quickly, scoring the next 12 points of the game to draw even. Sophomore Kat LaPrairie (Rockford, Mich.) and Taylor each hit trifectas, then three straight layups by junior Dani Crandall (Eaton Rapids, Mich.), Taylor and freshman Jill Steinmetz (Avon, Ind.) tied the game at 50 a piece.
Another LaPrairie long ball tied the game at 53, and after a Northwood basket, Taylor scored six straight points to put the Lakers up 59-55 with only 56 seconds to play.
After Church hit two free throws to cut the lead in half at 59-57, a Laker turnover with 17 seconds to play gave the Timberwolves a chance to tie or take the lead. However, with only three seconds to play, Steinmetz stole the ball from Church and got the ball to LaPrairie, who was fouled and hit one of two free throws to go up 60-57 with only two seconds to play, preserving the GVSU victory.
The 12-point comeback was the largest of the year for the Lakers. GVSU shot a stellar 52.4-percent (11-for-21) in the second half, while holding Northwood to 32-percent (8-for-25) from the field.
Taylor dominated down the stretch, finishing the game with 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting, seven rebounds and five assists. Junior Kellie Watson (Ionia, Mich.) scored 10 points, grabbed five boards and blocked three shots, while LaPrairie was the other Laker in double figures, scoring 11 points and grabbing seven rebounds off the bench. Steinmetz was very effective, scoring nine points on 4-of-5 shooting, dishing four assists and grabbing three boards.
The Lakers will now prepare for their last away game of the regular season, when they travel to take on Saginaw Valley State in University Center, Mich. on Thursday (Feb. 21) at 8 p.m.